Catfish Hunter Pitches a Perfect Game
James Augustus "Catfish" Hunter (April 8, 1946 - September 9, 1999), was a Major League right-handed starting pitcher between 1965 and 1979.
He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Charles O. Finley, owner of the Kansas City A's, gave Hunter the nickname "Catfish". The investment that Finley and the Athletics made in "Catfish" was returned many times over. Hunter's first major league victory came on July 27, 1965 in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. In 1966 and 1967, Hunter was named to the American League All-Star team. Following the 1967 season, Charles Finley moved the Athletics from Kansas City to Oakland, and on May 8, 1968, against the Minnesota Twins, Hunter pitched the first perfect game in the American League since 1922.
He continued to win games, and in 1974 received both The Sporting News's "Pitcher of the Year" award and the American League Cy Young Award after going 25-12 with a league leading 2.49 earned run average. After a contract dispute with Finley in 1974, Hunter left the Athletics in 1975 for the New York Yankees. Catfish's statistics while he was with the Athletics were impressive: four consecutive years with at least 20 wins, and four World Series wins without a loss.